Chi Chi DeVayne, Popular ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Contestant, Dies at 34


Chi Chi DeVayne, the self-proclaimed Southern bayou princess who dazzled viewers of RuPaul’s drag show competitions with impassioned lip-sync performances and head-over-heels dance routines, died on Thursday in a hospital in Shreveport, La. Known offstage as Zavion Davenport, he was 34.

His sister, Brittany, said the cause was scleroderma.

RuPaul Charles, the host of the shows, whose contestants often use male and female pronouns interchangeably, said in a statement: “I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul.”

Chi Chi DeVayne competed in Season 8 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2016, and on Season 3 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” in 2018, gaining a following for delivering splits and high kicks on the runway and for candid, revealing moments away from the stage.

During her season on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Chi Chi told fellow contestants backstage, “I wish that I had the guts to stand up for gay rights.” In response, one contestant, Bob the Drag Queen, smiled and said, “Go do it — you can start anytime.”

That prompted Chi Chi, in full makeup and a fuchsia ball gown, to shake her head and say, “You can’t do it in Shreveport,” her hometown. “They’ll blow your head off.”


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